December is here, good tidings have come your way in the promise of the end year bonus and you are elated. You are in good cheer and your mind is racing with all the endless possibilities ahead of you in the festive season. You are also aware that the festivities are short-lived and that January will come knocking soon, bringing with it the harsh realities of momentary lack and glaring responsibilities. You want to be cautious and avoid lamentable mistakes that will leave you regretting bitterly next year. Read on; the pointers below might just be the advice you’re looking for.
Nothing is as damaging as excess resources with no particular beneficial use. When the last coin is spent regret checks in in equal abundance. The human resource department in your company must have explained in detail the benefits owed to you and that the 13th month bonus was among them. This means you have had time to think about it and visualize what you could do with this amount. Therefore, you should have planned for it to the last coin. Sober planning prevents poor judgement, impulsive action and uncontrollable spending, all traits that come alive during this extended holiday season. Where possible set goals and budget your bonus to spread across these goals in reasonable percentages.
Give to the Needy
Even in your rush to celebrate and have a good time, take time to remember the needy members of the society who are not as fortunate. There are so many places you could spread the merry cheer around. You only need to look closely. You could visit an orphanage and deliver food items, clothes and toys; you could visit a hospital and encourage the sick; you can even visit a prison and help spread cheer. Acts like these bring you closer to your own humanity and give you a clearer understanding of what the festive season is truly about.
Invest in Your Career
After taking stock of your career progress the past year, you might have realized that you need to up-skill to get to where you want to be professionally. Your end-year bonus could be a good opportunity for you to invest in professional courses. You can plan for this as a new year resolution for your career.
Save for the Proverbial Rainy Day
You do not need a class on the unpredictable nature of life. You have experienced some of the biting lessons or heard how life suddenly took a turn for the worse for someone you knew and how they were caught completely unprepared. You vowed to do something to avoid such a pitfall. To date you are still vowing. This is the opportune time to take the next step. Advance in technology and systems provide myriad saving alternatives from banks to Saccos and other groups. Do your research and start saving in a scheme that best suits your interests. This might also be the time to get insurance for your assets, health, family and life. Do not let the unpredictable wave of life catch you flat-footed when you can sacrifice something small right now to safeguard yourself.
Pay Off Bad Debts
Nothing beats the feeling of starting a new year on a clean slate financially. Debts are shackles that hold you back from achieving many goals in life. You can set aside a certain percentage of your end year bonus to pay off small debts or significantly reduce larger debts. This will help you plan for money coming in the future to invest in more personal development projects. Also, you will be stepping into the new year on a clean financial slate, or a cleaner one when compared to the previous year.
Treat Yourself to Little Pleasures
Do not forget to treat yourself, the emphasis here being in moderation. Budget a portion of the bonus to reward yourself for a good job done throughout the year. Do something you enjoy. You can start a new hobby or take a new course. It is at this part of the year when most people have the most personal time in their hands.You can also treat your family and close friends to a day or evening out and spend quality time with the people who matter in your life.
The end-year bonus comes once a year. You can usher in the New Year with exciting memories and a tinge of regrets about the year you closed with a bang; or you can still have fun and see growth in your personal life as a result of spending your bonus prudently.